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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Twitter isn't safe from spam - yet

SAN FRANCISCO - MARCH 10:   San Francisco Mayo...Image by Getty Images via Daylife
For a while, it seemed as though the spammers hadn't quite cottoned on to Twitter. However, it looks like that's all change now. Not content with clogging up email inboxes, social networking profiles and blog comment sections, spammers have figured out a way to irritate dedicated Tweeters too - but Twitter is already busily searching for a solution.
Popular tech news site TechCrunch reports that Loic Le Meur - CEO of Seesmic, creator of Twitter desktop clients Twhirl and Seesmic Desktop - has proposed a "report as spam" button on his desktop clients.
Acting as a flagging device, the button could allow the applications to ban clients as spammers following a specific number of complaints - after a check to ensure that this is the case. There are already a number of Twitter applications designed to help users flag spam Tweets but so far none of them are attached to desktop clients.
Currently, spammers merely need to employ the reply to username function to fill the timelines of individual Tweeters with unwanted junk. But if Le Meur's button proves successful and other popular Twitter clients, such as Tweetdeck and Tweetie, hop on board, blocking abusers could be a significantly smoother process.
At the moment, Twitter asks for spam complaints to be sent directly to its spam account "@spam" and users have to be following the spam account to be able to log a complaint. While fully eradicating spam is possibly nothing more than a pipe dream, any step towards alleviating the problem is a welcome one - and a potentially lucrative one. 
If Le Meur's propositions aren't successful you can be sure that someone else will have a stab at stopping the stream of spam - maybe even Twitter itself.

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